‘Assegai’ Wilbur Smith

‘Assegai’ by Wilbur Smith.

Wilbur Smith writes African novels, often set in the past.  Previous novels, such as ‘Monsoon’ and ‘Sun Goddess’ have enthralled me throughout with constant tension and development of the story. So what happened? Assegai could have been so good but fell down.

The book is long at 472 pages, and most of those did not need to be there. The young hero Leon Courtney (continuing his Courtney series) falls from grace as an army officer but seemingly easily picks himself up. He does not have much danger and gets out of all scrapes with ease.

The middle of the book drags on and on. Many times I gave up but restarted only in the hope that it would get better and because it was a present from my wife. The end is the start of anythign interesting and then it seems rushed, again with no real tension between Leon and his enemy.

Overall, I am disappointed at this offering from Smith where the attention to detail has waned, interest both from reader and writer is tested and the classic Smith characters show up yet again in a cliche. Strong perfect heroes, gorgeous heronines and totally evil baddies.

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